Jim West offers a rather double-edged endorsement of Gentle Wisdom, to which I replied in a comment, which he has not (yet?) approved, starting with these words:
Thanks for the wonderful endorsement! But don’t make it too obvious that you are trying to revitalise a fading blog by getting link love from a rising star.
Jim writes about me:
He’s a bit too fluffy for me. I imagine his image of Jesus is something of a Jesus who carries a bunny, and a flower, and never says a cross word to anyone.
Well, Jim certainly has an active imagination. I have no idea where he gets this image from. True, I rejected what might be Mark Driscoll’s Jesus, because this is not at all the biblical picture. But on exactly the same basis I reject any image of “a Jesus who carries a bunny, and a flower, and never says a cross word to anyone”, because this clearly contradicts the biblical picture of our Saviour. As Jim correctly states as he continues,
the actual Jesus we know from the Gospels … called people hypocrites, was quite unfriendly to Temple businessmen, and regularly mocked the religious leaders of his day.
Indeed I could have used Jesus’ example to defend calling Driscoll a bully: Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees much worse things. This confrontational aspect of Jesus has been important to my faith since the 1970s, when I read John Stott’s book Christ the Controversialist, which helped me to see the inadequacy of the image from my childhood of Jesus who “never says a cross word to anyone”.
Mark Driscoll is right to regret that
increasingly, the least likely person to be found in church is a twenty-or-thirty-something single male.
Among the reasons for this may well be that the image of Jesus which Jim attributes to me is so widespread. So Driscoll is right to try to present a different image. But the image he should be presenting is not of someone who might advise: “ridicule those who disagree with you, despise people of other orientations, denigrate women, and above all be arrogant and rude!” Instead he should find and preach the true Jesus as presented in the gospels.